Posts Tagged With: new york city

NYC Day 4

We didn’t have much planned out for today’s itinerary since we kinda wanted to take it slow. We also realized that there was absolutely no point in waking up early and getting an early start to the day because the blistering heat would only tire us out and make us snappy. So we decided to stay in until lunch time and wait for the weather to cool down enough for us to venture out. We were trying to think of where to go to eat, so of course we went with Indian food.

I have found that whenever I go out to eat Indian food, I always overdo it. And then I feel bloated and lethargic and I swear to myself that I’ll never repeat this again but somehow or the other, I always find myself doing the exact same thing over and over again. Nevertheless, this food was soo good. Salty lassi, sweet lassi, pani puri, butter chicken, garlic naan, palak paneer, rumali roti, lamb curry….. LAAWWWDD! This is why I love being Indian.

The next stop was to go up the Empire State Building and see NYC’s gorgeous skyline. And was it ever gorgeous:

I didn’t join Shona and Arun for this part of the tour since I had already been up Rockefeller Center and yees, before I get lectured on how different the views are from these respective roof tops, I am fully aware of it already and I didn’t join in because I wanted to conserve whatever money I could. Instead, I headed back to the apartment with Anu where I has a blissful nap with her two dogs cuddled close.

At around 8ish, we decided to head down to The Village to grab drinks and then see if we could grab a show at the Comedy Cellar for 9pm.

It seemed like we were too late to get tickets to the show but they put us down on the wait-list and amazingly, (I say amazingly because there were five of us that needed in and that wait-list was hella long) we were able to score seats and amazingly still, they were able to seat us so close to the stage!

The show was fantastic! I wish I could recall who the comedians were but oh well. We assumed the comedy show would be about two hours long, but nope, it went on until 2 in the am. I was wondering why at some point during the night, my cheeks hurt from laughing and then when I checked my phone it all made sense. Longest comedy show ever, holy shit.

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“A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe.”

– Le Corbusier

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NYC Day 3

We had a nice long agenda of events planned for today but things didn’t exactly go according to plan. Arun went to park the car at a spot that wouldn’t earn us a ticket, but surprise, the car was no where to be found! So of course we jumped to conclusions and thought the car had been stolen owing to the fact that we had parked it in a bit of a sketchy location. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. After some poking around, Anu found out from a clerk at the grocery store opposite to where our car was parked last that it had been towed away earlier in the morning. So our next course of action was to make our way to the station where our car was being held. Yay!

The journey there was long, tedious and hot. It would have been fine if we were going to see something touristy-like but the tow station is not something particularly exciting. But the three of us find ways to entertain ourselves you see.

This photo gives me the giggles. Most people wouldn’t find this entire affair hilarious but of course Shona and I did. Kudos to the cop who was kind enough to oblige us. After this little adventure, we went back to Anu and Suyog’s place, found a safe parking area to leave the car at and then headed over to see the United Nations building. Unfortunately we didn’t make it in time to see the flags raised but the pictures are nice nonetheless:

After this, we met up with Anu and Suyog at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. There was such a looooooong line and I remember thinking that the food isn’t going to taste as good to me because of how long I’ve had to wait, but ermahgerrdd  I was so wrong. Maybe I was super hungry, but that burger and fries were absolutely DELICIOUS. I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs right now; salivating at the mere thought of it.

We walked around for quite a bit after this to shake off how full we felt, and along the way we came across these two iconic buildings: The Empire State Building and the Flat Iron Building

Our next stop was to head back to Grand Central Station a second time, and this time around Shona was of sound mind to be fully aware of actually being here.

Isn’t it gorgeous? I can’t get over how immense this place is.

So let me explain the picture on the right. This is Shona and Arun testing out the Whispering Gallery at Grand Central Station. So basically, the acoustics of the low ceramic arches can cause a whisper to sound like a shout. It sounds impossible but we tested it out by standing in opposite corners of the arched entryway. Then we faced the corner and whispered. It took a while for us to grasp how the concept worked but eventually we were able to hear each others voices as if we were right next to the person, not whispering into a far-away corner. It was pretty cool!

After this, the five of us headed home. Sure it wasn’t an entirely eventful day, but after the events that transpired in the morning, we were more than happy to call it a day.

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“One of the big things I miss about New York is not my friends so much; it’s Shake Shack, the burger place. I miss Shake Shack.”

– Aziz Ansari

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NYC Day 2

You gotta love my luck. The one week we decide to go to NYC is the one week there’s a crazy heat wave. And y’know, you’d think I’d be alrite, be in my zone and all considering how I’ve lived in Dubai for 17 years and all, but nope! It was HOT man. And not just hot, but disgustingly humid too. One step outside Anu and Suyog’s cooly air conditioned apartment and you feel like you’re going to melt and become nothing but a frothy puddle on the sidewalk.

And no, I am not exaggerating.

Anyway! We woke up early and decided to walk a few blocks down to get ourselves bagels from a restaurant that boasted a variety of unique and unusual spreads. This would have been delicious if we were able to sit inside the restaurant but unfortunately we had to be sit outside on a bench in the heat. Nonetheless, it was pretty good minus the fact that we had to strategically hold it in a way that avoided the dripping beads of sweat off our faces. Hah, deeelicious.

Today’s itinerary included Rockerfellar Center, the Lego store, the Museum of Sex and Times Square.

L to R: Me, Anu, Shona and Suyog

Rockefeller center is always nice to see. It’s not as breathtaking as it might be during Christmas time but it’s still pretty to look at.  There were so many people here though so we had to squirm our way in so that we could take this picture.

We stopped by the Lego Store after this. My younger self might have greatly enjoyed being here but my 24-year old self was not exactly thrilled. I did enjoy being out of the heat though, lol. Anyway, I was able to snag the above picture and if you can’t make it out, that’s the entire Rockerfeller Center recreated in lego’s. It must have been a painstakingly long task but look how cool!

After this we went to the Museum of Sex

… and I have to say I was pretty disappointed. Ok, so I don’t know what exactly I envisioned this museum to be but somehow I expected more than what I saw. It was mostly just a bunch of information, graphics and nudies pasted on the walls with the occasional video depicting some sexy times. I suppose I was expecting a bit more on the history of sex and more art stuff and less cut and paste y’know? It wasn’t a complete disappointment but it’s not going to be on my list of NYC recommendations for sure.

Anyway, while on our way to Times Square, we stopped by St Bart’s Church (what a change from our previous destination, hah)

So the church wasn’t particularly magnificent to see but the mural was pretty impressive. There was so much detail and intricate work done on it; the picture doesn’t half capture how beautiful it was.

Next stop, Times Square!

Times Square is always amazing to see. It is more eyecatching at night though and pictures are always better when the streets are lit with the lights from so many screens. This place definitely attracts all kinds of people and you couldn’t possibly get bored here what with all the things happening all at once. We also saw our first celebrity sighting here too – Heidi Klum! The last time we were in NYC, we saw Diane Keaton at Grand Central Station. Let’s see who I can check off next while I’m in the city 😀

That was it for the touristy-part of the day. Before we went to get some food though, we (ok, just me) found ourselves goading Arun to get his first ever tarot card reading. 20 minutes later and there was no particular grand unveiling of  “the things to come” in Arun’s life but what the hell right?

Our next stop was at an Irish bar, the name of which I forget, possibly due to my serious hunger craze or because this is where the five of us got extremely buzzed and delirious. Shona was soo out of it that she had no recollection of taking the below picture or of stepping into Grand Central Station itself. Check out the guys behind them. So not impressed, hah.

Grand Central Station is always amazing to see. It’s so BIG. We had to come back here again though because most of it was a blur. To wrap up the events of the day (and to sober us up), Anu and Suyog took us to an Ethiopian restaurant since I said I had never eaten Ethipoian food before. They’re huge fans of Awash so that’s where we stumbled off to.

The food had a very desi-style about it. I loved that you could pick it right off the platter and eat it just as you would rice and chicken curry. We stayed here until they practically had to kick us out, lol. Anyway, we headed straight home after this. It had been a looong day, and it was the first time in a long time when I fell right asleep after hitting the sack. I can’t remember the last time that happened!

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“Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.”

– Angela Carter

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NYC: Day 1

The journey to NYC was actually nice and painless. I mean, besides being cramped and having to sit in a car for several hours, it was a pretty relaxing drive to the city. Shona and I didn’t even have to drive since Arun was more than willing to take the wheel all the way there. By the time we reached Brooklyn, it was around 4:30ish and even though Shona and I did zilch, the three of us were pretty bushed. So what do tired-from-the-long-road people do once they reach their destination? Eat. Eat like they’ve never seen food before. And then catch up with their gracious hosts and talk into the wee hours of the night before falling asleep from absolute exhaustion.

To cool us off, Anu and Suyog concocted this frikkin delicious drink made from Pimms, strawberries, oranges and cucumbers. I usually don’t like sweet drinks but this was SO incredibly refreshing. And what made it even more better was the fact that the alcohol was barely noticeable. That’s always good news to me since I usually find the taste of alcohol revolting,

So I wasn’t able to get a collective picture of all the food (probably because I was too busy foaming at the mouth from frenzied hunger) but all I can say is that Anu and Suyog most certainly know how to work a grill. My stomach was very satisfied.

We took it easy today so as to prep ourselves for the madness of touring starting bright and early tomorrow morning. I just hope my feet will cooperate with me and that I don’t get too many blisters 😀

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“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”

Tom Wolfe

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NYC Round 2

I’m leaving for New York City today!!

This summer I was supposed to make a trip to some place I haven’t been before (I’m dying to go to Greece) with my two besties from Dubai but shit happened and our grand schemes never panned out. Oh well. Here’s hoping next summer will bring a different story.

Anyway, my sister and her hubby are going to visit their friends in Brooklyn so I decided to be the fifth wheel and make something out of my summer this year besides the usual crap I’ve been doing… which has so far been playing PS3 and watching Netflix. Can someone makeover my life please?

Moving on; the last time I made a trip to NYC we were there for a measly 3 days but this time around, we’re going for a week! 😀

So what’s on the agenda? Have a looksie:

– Rockerfellar center
– The New York Public Library
– Grand Central Station
– Empire State Building
– Chrysler Building
– The UN Building
– Flat Iron Building
– Times Square
– The Charging Bull
– Freedom Tower
– China Town
– SoHo
– Little Italy
– Central Park
– National Museum of the American Indian
– Museum of Modern Art
– Metropolitan Museum  of Art
– Museum of Sex
– Water taxi to see the Statue of Liberty
–  Go for a Drag Show
–  See the NYC Gay Pride March

That’s it for now! If we have more time and our able to get up off our asses early every morning then we should be able to squeeze in less touristy things and more New Yorky things. I’m still amazed that NYC is only 10 hours away from Saint John! How crazy is that?

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NYC Day 5

First stop today – The Museum of Natural History!

Let’s just say I was the only excited person in the group to visit this place. I insisted on seeing it because of a movie I watched when I was a kid (“We’re Back”) and for some reason, I had this strange fascination for it. But nearly six hours into the Museum, that fascination was wearing off.  I didn’t realize how enormous this museum was. It has 5 levels and each level was different categories and sub categories ranging from the Jurassic period to how the human brain functions.

Even though we gave it a little of our morning and most of our afternoon, we were still not done seeing all of it. You really have to devote an entire day to seeing this museum since there are so many interesting  things to see but since we were on such a tight schedule, we just couldn't spare the time. After we got out of the Museum, we headed to St Patrick’s Cathedral which is one of the biggest churches in New York City. Now usually, I’m not a big fan of seeing churches but I thought what the heck, it was on our way to Rockefeller Center and it was free. As a bonus, it would be a great photo opportunity. I'm glad we did go because St Patrick’s Cathedral was jaw-dropping. It is just magnificent. None of the pictures do it any justice.

After we got done with the church, we headed straight for Rockefeller Center. After standing in long line ups, we were finally able to make it to the observation deck. It wasn’t the highest level I’ve been on; that would be when I went to the tallest building in the world which is in Dubai, but the view of New York City is just gorgeous. See for yourself:

We decided to give our legs a break so we looked for a littler pub on 5th Avenue which is where all the great clothing stores are located at, and found Boqueira. After lots of apps and drinks, we braced ourselves for the next part of our evening that was sure to include three of our least favorite things: lots of walking, lots of sweating, and lots and lots of people.

Times Square.

 

You walk on the streets of Times Square at night and it will feel like it’s still day-time. It unmistakably is one of most exciting and famous parts of New York City, if not the country. It’s just a spectacular feast for the eyes. There are theaters’, studios, restaurants, shops and clothing stores, clubs, and god knows what else. Suffice it to say, I’m pretty sure you could get whatever you want off that street alone.

We walked on Times Square for nearly 2 hours and were able to pick up four paintings from local-artists and my sister and I even got a caricature of ourselves done. We look exactly the same save for a beauty spot on my sister’s left cheek. Not worth how much we paid for it, but whatever, it’s an NYC memory.  

After we got done at Times Square, we quickly rushed back to the hotel to shower. Our bus ride back to Boston was leaving at 12AM, and then we had a 2 hour wait until we could catch or connecting bus from Boston to Bangor. The last ride in the NY cab was pretty sad, but I know we’ll be back again in New York City for sure. There’s just no way NYC can be a first and last trip to anyone who visits here.

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No. of Pictures Taken: 335

"Most human beings are driven to seek security and comfort. But there is another group that can only thrive on change and the unexpected of New York".
–Cathleen Nesbit

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NYC Day 4

The first thing on our agenda for today was to go to Tiffinwalla Restaurant in Little India. After getting ourselves a very hearty bunch and taking a small paan excursion, the next thing we went to see was the New York Public Library. This entire collection of streets has so many interesting things to see, so even though the library was closed, we still made a good trip of it. Plus, it was on the way towards the Empire State Building.

The outside of the library is gorgeous. I can’t imagine how crazy it must look on the inside. Anyway, after a few pictures, we went off in the direction of the Empire State building but then got distracted by the long stretch of road converted into a fair/food stall. So we decided to walk through it, and then turn back around to where we were supposed to be heading.

 

The fair was pretty cool; they had stalls set up for international food like lamb kebabs, chili corn on the cob and other delciousness. We got to see a few roadside dance performances and musical instrument talents, and of course… a man holding up a sign saying that “The End is Near”. Such a city classic. Today was aggravatingly hot as well, so we cooled off a few times by zipping into a few stores to check out the souvenirs.

After some more grazing, we left the fair and went to get pictures of the Empire State Building. We didn’t go up since we would much rather see it at night (that’s when it is at its most awesome) and we were planning on going to the observation deck at the Rockefeller Center tomorrow anyway, so we contented ourselves with standing in front of the building alone.

 

More walking lead us to Grand Central Station, which is so beautiful both inside and outside. There’s a flurry of people moving in different directions everywhere and amazingly, Shona spotted a celebrity. Recognize her? I become a bit of a paparazzi when I saw her, and followed her around a bit until her grandson gave me the stink eye, lol.

Soon after that, we got our tickets to take the ship to St. Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty. The line was really long, and of course, it was getting hotter, but the boat ride and the views of the city lights from afar, and of course, Lady Liberty was all worth the wait. Anu and I were clicking away madly; but none of our pictures can adequately capture how amazing the sights were.

 

After the 3 hour boat ride, we decided to head to Little Itlay to get ourselves some NY pizza. We stopped in at Lombardi’s, and topped it off with tiramisu rice pudding with hazelnut topping at Rice to Riches.

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No. of Pictures Taken: 382

"A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe"
— Le Corbusier

P.S: It's Diane Keaton

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NYC Day 2 and 3

Dilemma, dilemma. We had the hardest time deciding what to do for when and on which day. The three of us knew exactly where we wanted to go, but scheduling which activity for which day was annoying, and allocating how much time to spend doing a particular activity was even more annoying. In New York City, there are just too many things to see. You can be having your regular stroll along the street, but then get caught up in the activities around you, without realize that you’re strolling away from where you were walking towards.

I LOVE that.

Day 2 in New York City was not very active. We spent most of our time recuperating from our tedious journey, deciding on the places to go see and contemplating which would be more ‘New-York-y’, but we did do a few things like visit Little China (while fervently making note of all the subway stations available on this street we could make use of later). We walked along Canal Street later at night, got drinks at a great pub with great prices and that was about it.

Day 3 was much better. We visited the Bronx Zoo, Central Park, and a Comedy Club.  Now I know this seems like very few things to do in a day but there was a LOT of walking involved. The Bronx Zoo is HUMUNGOUS. It was an hours’ ride on the subway to get from NYC to the Bronx, and we had to walk about 6 blocks from the station to reach the entrance of the zoo.

Once we were there, I think we spent about 5 hours inside the zoo. It didn’t help that it was raging hot, so at the end of it, we were all pretty tuckered out. I hadn’t drunk so many bottles of water in a span of 5 hours in a looong time. The only disappointing thing was probably how we walked for 45 minutes up to Tiger Mountain and get an eyeful of zero tigers. Yay for camouflage!

My feet were singing grand opera by then and we all decided we had enough of the zoo. The walk from the exit to the bus station was no fun either, and by then we all needed to sit down and give our legs a break. Unfortunately we were a little lost on which bus to take to get to Central Park. After we figured it out with the help of a boozing gentlemen listening in on our conversation, we caught the express bus all the way to Central Park. The park is amazing! And of course, this too was huge. Thankfully though, the bus ride helped ease our aching feet so we were all able to do some more walking before we’d have to stop and rest again.

Central Park is crowded with dog walkers, joggers, cyclists, skaters, strollers, homeless people and hopped-up individuals.  We were initially going there with the purpose of walking around the park and then renting a boat at the lake but we were too late for that. Luckily though there was a dance academy show going on, so we got tickets, settled ourselves on a nice patch of earth, and watched the 2 hour long performances, while filling up on some yummy treats at numerous food stalls.

After that, it was more walking and I can’t remember where we were at and which street we were on, but we signed ourselves in for a comedy show at CB’s Comedy Club. The show was at 9:30pm, and we had about an hour to burn, so we went in to an Italian restaurant/pub, and got a few drinks while we waited. CB’s comedy club was featuring four comedians that night: Yamaneika Saunders, Mike Lawrence, Dante Nero and Geno Bisconte. We got seats right in front of the stage, and because we were three Indian girls, we got picked on a lot which was hilariously good fun.

The comedians were all pretty good, and we ended the night with a stroll through Madison Avenue and the park, and had a nutella-filled, chocolate krepe at a tiny store on the walk back home. De-elicious end to an awesome day!

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No. of Pictures Taken: 360

"You come to New York to find the ambiance that will evoke your best. You do not necessarily know precisely what that might be, but you come to New York to discover it".
— Dr. James Hillman

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NYC Day 1

I'M FINALLY HERE!

YEAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

The bus ride here was horrible. Our bus from Bangor to Boston broke down about half an hour into the journey. I think we waited in the bus for about 2 hours before it was finally fixed, and could get a move on. Because we were late, we missed our connection bus to NYC, but thankfully, another bus was going to NYC half an hour after we reached Boston. Only thing was, this bus was already nearing capacity and preference would be given to those passengers that bought their tickets to NYC for that particular schedule. 

Anyway, me and Shona pretended we weren't the late passengers, and sneaked on to that bus so we wouldn't have to wait an additional 2 hours to get on to the next one, with the possibility of not being able to get on that one at all if that bus was nearing capacity too.

We hadn't eaten anything of real substance besides a packet of chips and some chocolate/strawberry milk, so our long journey was catching up to us. Shona got a headache and I was going in and out of feeling nauseous. It didn't help that we were all packed like sardines on the bus. Shona was particularly crammed because the person in front of her had his seat put back (I recall her saying how madly she wanted to go all ape shit and rattle the back of his seat like a gorilla. The image still makes me giggle). A stop at Arby's half way towards NYC helped us feel better though. But soon after that, we hit traffic. Lots and lots of traffic that stretched out for miles and miles. To top that off, we were sitting close to a women who just would not shut her gob. She was constantly yacking to the bus driver and she had THE most annoying laugh ever. The slow traffic and her ugly laugh made me want to stick something in my eye.

To distract myself, I concentrated on observing the city. New York City is madness. It's a beautiful madness. People of all kinds, shapes and sizes are everywhere. Cars are jammed into tiny parking spaces, people are jaywalking, running, cycling, hailing cabs left and right, and driving here is a challenge to be mastered only by the courageous. But god, it felt so good to be in place with tall buildings and city sounds and lights. There's nothing else that makes me feel right at home. But, I've already decided that NYC, as amazing to the eye as it is, is a little too much for me. My main problem of living in a city of this size with a population so large, is that it would take forever to go places, do things and see things. I love city life, but a humungous city with traffic at every corner is little putting off.

None the less, I AM IN LOVE. This is not going to be my last trip here.

After we reached the station, we got a cabbie called Ben (he was really nice, and went on and on about the city and how amazing it is – he's been here for 5 years and is originally from Mali, Africa). If we weren't so tired, we probably would have paid him more attention, but at that point, all I wanted was to just sit back and relax for a while. The bus station is in Times Square and our hotel is a 10- 12 minute drive away, which is so awesome because most of the things we want to do/see in the city is located there. 


Our Hotel Room. Tiny but cozy. We're staying at the Sheraton Hotel on the 19th floor.

 
View from our hotel room.


The street below zoomed in.
 

See what  I said about the traffic? It's nearly 12am on a Thursday!


Beef sliders to cap the end of our night.

And now bedtime! Goodnight city lights.

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Ready To Go

I'm all packed up and ready to go!

NEW YORK CITY, HERE I COME.

So here's the plan of action:

My sister and I will drive to Bangor, which is about a 3 and a half hour drive. And then we're staying over at a motel to get some sleep before waking up at 4:30am to get to the Bangor bus station at 5am. And at 5:30am, the 10 hour bus ride will take us straight to New York City.

You should just see the grin I have on my face right now. It's been plastered there all week.

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